CBD seems to have a lot of potential to treat Alzheimer's disease. In any case, this is what all preclinical data (in vitro and in vivo) animal studies) currently available on the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) with CBD.
Indeed, CBD can act on several of the key mechanisms underlying disease and therefore has the potential to slow, if not reverse, disease progression, something that no other treatment has been able to achieve.
CBD against Alzheimer's disease
AD is a chronic degenerative brain disease and is the most common cause of dementia (about 50% to 75%) in the elderly. Currently, an estimated 50 million people worldwide suffer from dementia compatible with AD, a figure expected to double in Europe and triple globally by 2050. This disease causes a slow degeneration of neurons, leading to disturbances of recent memory, executive function functions (projecting, organizing, planning) and orientation in time and space. The patient gradually loses cognitive abilities and autonomy.
AD is characterized by the presence of two main phenomena. On the one hand, the formation of so-called “β-amyloid” protein plaques, which accumulate, compress and eventually destroy the neurons. And on the other hand, the role of another protein called “tau” which is normally present in the structure of neurons. However, that changes during the illness. There will be a protein tangle that distorts and eventually kills neurons.
For many decades, these two main phenomena were considered the origin of the disease. In recent years, however, a large number of studies have questioned this hypothesis, favoring other mechanisms such as oxidative stress and neuroinflammation.
It is also interesting to note that oxidative stress is a pathological mechanism already present in many diseases (cancer, neurodegenerative, autoimmune diseases). In addition, it is the main cause of premature aging. It is defined as the result of an imbalance between the production of oxidizing molecules and our antioxidant defenses leading to cell damage. It is one of the consequences of our current way of life (pollution, smoking, poor diet, etc.).
Neuroinflammation results from a systemic inflammation of our body (low grade), which will spread to our brain and cause neuronal damage. This inflammation is caused, among other things, by our diet, but also by conditions such as obesity or type II diabetes.
CBD and the endocannabinoid system (ES)
Based on the new discoveries made about the origins of AD, many studies have focused on cannabidiol (CBD), particularly for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.
CBD is one of several cannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plant. It has practically no psychoactive effect and does not cause any harmful effects on health or dependence, unlike Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is also present in the cannabis plant and is widely used as a recreational drug.
The action of CBD is largely based on the action of the endocannabinoid system, which consists of a series of receptors specific to the substances (endocannabinoids) normally produced by the body and which are responsible for regulating the balance of a large number of physiological functions of the body (sleep, stress, pain, immune system).
Effects of CBD
CBD can act directly and indirectly on the oxidative balance by altering the level and activity of oxidants and antioxidants, thereby reducing the resulting oxidative stress. Other research has shown that CBD, through its anti-inflammatory power, can reduce neuroinflammation and improve cognitive and memory functions. Finally, CBD is said to reduce the deposits of amyloid plaques and the clumps of altered tau proteins, thus reducing the degeneration of neurons. Clinical trials should soon begin on volunteers suffering from AD to evaluate the impact of CBD on the evolution of the disease and on the clinical status of patients.
Source: portugalresident.com (EN)